Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 675–699 | Cite as

Hearing a Voice as one’s own: Two Views of Inner Speech Self-Monitoring Deficits in Schizophrenia

  • Peter Langland-HassanEmail author


Many philosophers and psychologists have sought to explain experiences of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) and “inserted thoughts” in schizophrenia in terms of a failure on the part of patients to appropriately monitor their own inner speech. These self-monitoring accounts have recently been challenged by some who argue that AVHs are better explained in terms of the spontaneous activation of auditory-verbal representations. This paper defends two kinds of self-monitoring approach against the spontaneous activation account. The defense requires first making some important clarifications concerning what is at issue in the dispute between the two forms of theory. A popular but problematic self-monitoring theory is then contrasted with two more plausible conceptions of what the relevant self-monitoring deficits involve. The first appeals to deficits in the neural mechanisms that normally filter or attenuate sensory signals that are the result of one’s own actions. The second, less familiar, form of self-monitoring approach draws an important analogy between Wernicke’s aphasia and AVHs in schizophrenia. This style of self-monitoring theory pursues possible connections among AVHs, inserted thoughts, and the disorganized speech characteristic formal thought disorder (FTD).


Schizophrenia Aphasia Auditory Cortex Motor Command Superior Temporal Gyrus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to two anonymous reviewers for this journal, to Wayne Wu, and to Aimee Dietz, for their helpful comments, criticisms, and suggestions. This research was supported by a grant from the Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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